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28 March 2011 DEA material enhancement with dipole grafted PDMS networks
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Silicone elastomers are highly suitable for application in the field of dielectric elastomer actuators (DEA) due to their unique material properties (e.g. low glass temperature, thermal stability, large capability of chemical tailoring). The elastomer forming Polydimethysiloxane (PDMS) employed for this study consists of chains with vinyl termination and is cross linked via hydrosilylation to a cross linking molecule in the presence of platinum catalyst. Here, dipole molecules (N-Allyl-N-methyl-4-nitroaniline) were specifically synthesized such that they could chemically graft to the silicone network. The most prominent advantage of this approach is the achievement of a homogeneous distribution of dipoles in the PDMS matrix and a suppression of phase separation due to the grafting to the junction points of the rubber network. Several films with dipole contents ν ranging from 0 %wt up to 10.9 %wt were prepared. The films were investigated to determine their mechanical (tensile testing), dielectric (dielectric relaxation spectroscopy) and electrical (electrical breakdown) properties. This new approach for composites on the molecular level leads to homogeneous films with enhanced material properties for DEA applications. An increase in permittivity from 3.3 to 6.0, a decrease in electrical breakdown from 130 V/μm to 50 V/μm and a lowering of the mechanical stiffness from 1700 kPa to 300 kPa was observed.
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Sebastian Risse, Björn Kussmaul, Hartmut Krüger, Rémi Waché, and Guggi Kofod "DEA material enhancement with dipole grafted PDMS networks", Proc. SPIE 7976, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2011, 79760N (28 March 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.881919;

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